Friday, December 15, 2017

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Travel Q&A: The European Union

Question: “I live in America, and I’m going on holiday to Spain next summer. I’d also like to go to Italy, and I know I can drive there from Spain. My question is about my passport; will I need to show it when I cross the border from Spain to Italy and vice versa? I know they’re both in the European Union, so I’m not sure if normal border controls apply. If at all possible, I’d rather not carry my passport around with me.”

Answer:

While Spain and Italy are both in the European Union, you will still need your passport and the usual forms of ID – such as medical insurance documentation – to cross the border.

It’s an easy mistake to make. In the United Kingdom, for example, you do not need a passport to cross the border from England to Scotland or Wales to England – so there is a precedent for this thinking. However, the European Union is largely a political union – the countries within it remain separate, and regular border controls apply.

On another note, while it’s understandable that you don’t want to carry your passport with you, in some European countries you are required to do so by law. In Italy, for example, police have the right to stop and ask anyone, at any time, to produce documentation as to their identity. It is therefore worth investing in a money-belt or similar to keep your passport in, so if you do get stopped, you won’t have any problems.

All You Need To Know About UK Travel

The United Kingdom – the union name for the countries of England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland – is one of the most popular tourists destinations in the world, especially the capital of England, London and the capital of Scotland, Edinburgh.

Traveling through the UK – as it is abbreviated to – is fairly simple given the size of the four countries. Three – England, Scotland and Wales – are connected by land. It is possible to travel from the Northernmost point of the UK – John O’Groats in Scotland – to the Southernmost point – Land’s End in England – in a day. Only Northern Ireland is not on the same island as the other three countries in the Union, but is reachable by a short ferry trip, most commonly from Scotland.

As the countries are small and interlinked, UK travel is a surprisingly easy aspect of a vacation there. It is possible to fly domestically, and rail and motorway networks serve the UK well. However, rail travel is very expensive, as was recently evidenced by the first issuing of a return rail ticket costing over £1,000 (around $1,400). There are discounts available, however, especially for foreign visitors on short-term stays.

Flying by air is much simpler, however, and usually cheaper, too. The UK has several major airports, both international and domestic, and flights between the countries are inexpensive and regular. You do not need to show a passport to travel across the country borders, though some form of ID is recommended for air travel.

The Ever-Increasing Popularity of Air Travel

Ever since the determinedly brave Wright Brothers made the first unassisted flight aboard their plane Kitty Hawk, man has been taking to the sky (and beyond) so as to explore the world. Air travel is fastly becoming the biggest of all the transportation industries, allowing people to shrink the world and go from one hemisphere to another in a matter of hours.

Air travel is one of the most convenient ways to move from place to place. First and foremost, there is the speed: most airplanes have a cruising speed of 500 miles per hour or more, so you’re going to reach your destination in the fastest time possible. And while flight phobias exist, there’s no doubt that for most travelers, being able to sit back and let the pilot do all the work while you sip from the drinks cart is one of the more enjoyable parts of air travel!

There is an oft-quoted statistic that flying by airplane is the safest way to travel – and for once, the statistics are right. Airplane crashes are rare, and despite perceptions, an air crash does not immediately mean total loss of life. In fact, you are more likely to survive an airplane crash than to perish, again according to statistics.

It’s rapidly becoming clear where air travel is so popular. It’s fast, it’s efficient and it’s surprisingly safe – as well as taking some of the strain out of traveling, as you relax in the cabin and watch the wall go by beneath.